Wednesday, December 21, 2011, in our 9th year of consecutive publication
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A thought from the past for this week and Christmases to come:
"The earth has grown old with its burden of care, but at Christmas it
always is young, the heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair, and its
soul full of music breaks the air, when the song of angels is sung."
Phillips Brooks, 19th century clergyman
Author of the carol, "O Little Town Of Bethlehem"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


One aspect of Christmas that never changes and never loses its appeal is the
singing of Christmas carols. The old English song "Here We Come a Caroling"
says it well, "Love and joy come to you, and to you good Christmas too,
and God bless you and send you a happy new year."

We're not going to conduct a poll, and try to determine the favorite Christmas
carol of ANC readers . . . several much loved carols come to mind and we'll be
hearing them throughout this Christmas season . . . "Silent Night" ... "O Little
Town of Bethlehem" ... "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" ... "We Three Kings ...
"Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" ... "Joy to the World" ... and others.

We offer the choice of a "favorite" carol which includes great meaning in its
words; from the 19th century, "O Holy Night" ... "O holy night! The stars
are brightly shining, it is the night of our dear Savior's birth. Long lay the
world in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt its worth."
The beloved Christmas carols that we have known for years become a means
of expressing our faith, and keeping this a Christ centered observance.

That's not easy to do; the grinches are still trying to steal Christmas. As
Tony Perkins at Family Research Council (FRC) commented, "If you think the
malls are busy this time of year, you should see the attorneys! In December,
there seems to be a lawyer on every corner, policing the rights of citizens to
put their faith on display. From mangers to Christmas trees, complaints from
the politically correct crowd continue to pour in."

For example, in Athens, TX, the "Freedom From Religion Foundation" demanded
that the city remove the nativity scene from the public square. Last weekend a
crowd of some 5,000 Athens residents rallied in the square in support of the
nativity scene. And the "Military Religious Freedom Foundation" demanded that
Travis Air Force Base in California remove its manger scene, and the menorah
from the traditional display, declaring that such display "is a clear endorsement
of religion in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment."
It is difficult to understand how they find such violation in the First Amendment --
which reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ..." But there is an old saying,
"To each his own."

That had not always been the viewpoint of the President of the United States, the
Commander in Chief of our Armed Forces. In 1944, following the D-Day invasion
of Normandy, in the midst of WW II, Franklin D. Roosevelt broadcast that year's
Christmas message to the nation: "The Christmas spirit lives tonight in the bitter
cold of the front lines in Europe and in the heat of the jungles and swamps of
Burma and the Pacific islands...Here, at home, we will celebrate this Christmas
Day in our traditional American way--because of its deep spiritual meaning to
us; because the teachings of Christ are fundamental in our lives; and because
we want our youngest generation to grow up knowing the significance of this
tradition and the story of the coming of the immortal Prince of Peace and
Good Will." Of course, that was before Mr. Obama had declared that America
was no longer a Christian nation.

The anti-Christmas feeling runs deep in the Obama administration. House
of Representatives members who submit official mailings for review by the
congressional franking commission that reviews all congressional mail to determine
if it can be “franked,” or paid for with tax dollars, are being told that no holiday
greetings, including “Merry Christmas,” can be sent in official mail. "I called the
commission to ask for clarification and was told no ‘Merry Christmas.’ Also
told cannot say ‘Happy New Year’ but can say ‘have a happy new year’ –
referencing the time period of a new year, but not the holiday,” said a Hill
staffer who requested anonymity. Let's see -- it's our taxpayer money, and this
was always a Christian nation, until Mr. Obama came along, but apparently his
viewpoint takes precedence over ours.

And speaking of Christmas -- we confess: Last week we made a mistake.
We believed President Obama when he said he was foregoing his planned 17 day
Christmas vacation in Hawaii, and was going to stay in Washington and do the
work of the president. As we finalize this issue, we have not learned when or if
he will go to Hawaii -- but our guess is he will. It's too good a deal to pass up.

However, Mrs. Obama and the children decided to go ahead with their plans for
another luxury vacation in the sun, so Michelle commandeered an Air Force jet,
and flew to Hawaii over the weekend -- their separate flight from the president's
later flight added something over $100,000 to the cost of the vacation, putting
the total cost to taxpayers (like us) at about $4 million. Even the British Telegraph
headlined it in these words: "Barack Obama's big government vacation: the
president adds nearly $4 million to the national debt with his lavish
Hawaiian holiday." And added this comment in the accompanying story: "This
is an astonishing amount of public money to be spending in an age of austerity
when the president is supposed to be leading efforts to cut the US budget deficit,
the largest since World War Two, and a towering $15 trillion national debt."
That is just one example of how the rest of the world views the Obama presidency.

Last week, the Hawaii Reporter estimated the entire cost of the vacation for both
Obamas – should he ever arrive – at more than $4 million. This $4 million figure is
nearly 100 times the average annual salary of an American worker, which currently
stands at $41,673. The story has of course been ignored by the liberal-dominated
mainstream media, which inevitably turns a blind eye to abuses of power by the
Obama administration. For President Obama, even his vacations have become a
vulgar symbol of big government excess and over-spending. While tens of millions
of Americans struggle this Christmas to pay the mortgage and put food on the table
for their families, the "leader of the free world" will be enjoying a luxury vacation at
their expense. It is all just one more demonstration of the actions of an out-of-touch
president. And he wants us to re-elect him next year so he and Michelle can go on
enjoying this lavish life-style at our expense?

On the other side of the world; it isn't often that you hear the Prime Minister of
Israel speak favorably of the Christian faith, but this past week Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu broadcast a Christmas message which is more religious, more
Christian, than much that we will hear from our White House and the spokespersons
of the "religious left," -- "I want to wish the Christian citizens of Israel, as well
as Christians around the world, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Israel is proud of its strong and growing Christian community, and we are
proud of the deep and passionate support of so many Christian friends of
Israel around the world."

We offer this for this year's self-illusory, super-arrogant award: Everyone
seems to be amazed (or amused) that in last week's interview with Steve Croft on
CBS 60 Minutes, President Obama stated his belief that he is the 4th best
president in American history. (Apparently he ignored the four presidents on Mt.
Rushmore -- Lincoln, Roosevelt, Washington and Jefferson -- which would make
him the 5th best.) If you didn’t see that claim on 60 Minutes, it is because CBS
edited it out of the actual broadcast. But here is his boast: "As you said yourself,
Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments
in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of
Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in
modern history." (You can see it in online 60 Minutes Overtime which has a video
of the entire interview.)

This is no time to set aside the urgency of our count down for prayer. As of
today there are 321 days till election day, Nov. 6, 2012. As we continue to pray
about that important election, we must not forget the men and women of our
Armed Forces -- from Valley Forge to Afghanistan American troops have faced
the difficult task of celebrating Christmas amid the cataclysm of war. This year is
no exception, and once again it is important to remember our military in our
prayers. And in addition to the problems facing our own country, we must never
fail to pray for our fellow Christian believers, who are constantly in danger from
persecution -- and death -- in so many areas of the world.

As usual, because of the left wing bias of the Main Line Media, it is very
helpful to note "What Others Are Saying" . . .

Edward Feulner (Pres., Heritage Foundation): "Today, America's future is
on the line. The nation our Founders built and for which generations have
sacrificed is quickly becoming a country that none of them would recognize.
As our government and elected officials pull further away from our founding
principles, America slips closer to European-style socialism and faces a rapid
decline in our international standing."

Dr. Muehleisen Arnold (from his new book, A Natural History of Islamism
and its Relationship to Christianity): "Had it not been for the recent
outbursts of Moslem fanaticism, it would almost have been forgotten, that
Islamism maintains an unequivocally hostile relation to Christianity."

James Delingpole (from 365 Ways to Drive a Liberal Crazy): "Say grace
before meals. Bringing God into the picture always puts liberals ill at ease,
because it reminds them you think there's a power more important than

Richard Engel (Chief NBC foreign correspondent): On the departure of US
troops from Iraq: "For a big war, it was a remarkably small closing ceremony.
A few hundred troops, a five-piece band on a base by the airport on the edge
of Baghdad...Did America prevail? Iraq's future remains uncertain....What
was conspicuously absent today... there were no parades among Iraqis, no
victory celebrations, no thank yous."

Not too many "One Liners" turned up this week . . .

Joe Biden: "Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy." (In an interview with

Erick Erickson: "It is always hard to beat an incumbent. But Barack
Obama is making it easier than it has been since Carter was President."

And here, as usual, are a few "Afterthoughts" . . .

In case you were wondering: The first White House Christmas card was sent
by President Eisenhower in 1953. The first White House Christmas card which
had a religious motif was sent by President Kennedy in 1963. (It was a nativity
scene.) The first White House Christmas card with a Scripture reference was
designed by First Lady Laura Bush in 2001. (It was Psalm 27.)

There has been so much in the news about Christopher Hitchens, perhaps
the current time's most prominent atheist. It is not questioned that he was a
scholarly and prolific writer. He used thoughtful words to express his atheistic
views, like "That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed
without evidence.” And he was firm in his criticism of religious faith as being
nothing more than a fatuous belief in magic, fables and nonsense, and calling it,
"violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry,
invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women
and coercive toward children.” His supporters have predicted that his acerbic
writings will endure. And perhaps they will. But Gilbert Keith Chesterton's "If
there were no God, there would be no atheists," has already endured for over
75 years (Chesterton died in 1936), and another relevant word on this subject,
"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God," (Psalm 14:1) has already
endured for thousands of years.

It is difficult not to comment on the termination of the war in Iraq. Pat
Buchanan, looking back to President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" photo-op
in 2003, asks now, eight years later, "Was the mission accomplished?" An
editorial last week in the Washington Post, makes us wonder if anyone can really
answer "Yes" -- "Al-Qaida continues to carry out terrorist attacks. Iranian-
sponsored militias still operate, and a power struggle between Kurdish-ruled
northern Iraq and Mr. Maliki's government goes on. More Iraqis worry that,
after the U.S. troops depart this month, the sectarian bloodletting that
ravaged the country between 2002 and 2007 will resume." And in spite of
all the administration's rhetoric, not all Americans there are really coming home.
First, some of our military will remain in Kuwait -- in case there are flare-ups in
Iraq. Second, some 16,000 will remain in the huge fortress that houses the U.S.
embassy in Baghdad, and in our fortified consulates in Basra, Irbil and Kirkuk.
All four sites will be self-sufficient, so U.S. personnel can stay clear of what the
Wall Street Journal calls "the perilous security situation on Iraq's city streets."
We have to wonder what we really accomplished if hatred of America is so
widespread that our diplomats live in constant peril in the "democracy" that we
helped the Iraqis establish?

Our Founding Fathers, who created this nation, offered advice for us to use.

"The natural cure for an ill-administration, in a popular or representative
constitution, is a change of men." -- Alexander Hamilton, 1787

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were
to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government
would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered
by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the
government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to
control itself." -- James Madison, 1788

"The Constitution which at any time exists, 'till changed by an explicit and
authentic act of the whole People is sacredly obligatory upon all."
-- George Washington, 1796

We are just one week away from completing our 9th year of publication.
Very frankly, the continued publication of ANC is in the hands of our readers,
in communities across America and in many countries of the world. Please click
right HERE and note our suggested contribution of just $12. Your response
will help make sure that we will be able to begin our 10th year of publication of
the Internet's pro-Christian, pro-American, pro-Conservative commentary.

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]